WASHINGTON – According to four current and former high-ranking government officials, the impeachment investigation in Ukraine has caused the first conflict between President Donald Trump and the Cabinet member who was his closest ally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo was annoyed for weeks that he had hired Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials whose statements in Congress threatened to overthrow his presidency. The President confronted Pompeo with officials familiar with the matter during lunch at the White House on October 29, and what he considered a poor state secretary's effort to block their testimony.
Inside the White House, the view was that Trump "just felt like he was restraining your people," a high-ranking government official said.
Trump in particular accuses Pompeo of appointing Ambassador Bill Taylor as the best US diplomat in Ukraine in June Recent and former high-ranking government officials announced.
Taylor has provided the Intelligence Committee of the House with some of the most damaging details of the White House's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate one of the President's potential rivals in the 2020 elections, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
A rift in the seemingly unbreakable connection between Trump and Pompeo is striking, as Pompeo, a former Kansas Congressman, is eted as the "Trump Whisperer" who has survived – and thrives – and works for a president who routinely tired and discarded older members of his team.
But the impeachment investigation has put Pompeo in the place of what a senior civil servant is. Unsustainable Position: An attempt to manage a bureaucracy of 75,000 people that harms its leadership, and to satisfy a boss with excessive expectations of loyalty.
"He feels accused by the President and the White House has hired all those people who turn against Trump," said one official familiar with Pompeo's dynamics. " And it's the foreign ministry that will overthrow him, so it's all Pompeo's fault.
Neither the White House The Department of State answered any comments.
Four State Department officials testified before the House Intelligence Committee.
Three of them – Taylor, former US Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and George Kent, Deputy Secretary-General in the European Foreign Office, who appeared before the committee last week to issue the first public testimony in the Democrats' indictment, all three are currently working in the State Department, although Yovanovitch was referred to a teaching assignment at Georgetown University. 19659002] Taylor ate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cafeteria the day after his statement, because the government objected, and was surrounded by employees who expressed support for him, according to two people who saw him there.
Kurt Volker, who until last month the Ges Foreign Minister of Ukraine was the first official to testify. He returned about a week before his deposit on October 3, delivering countless text messages about the White House pressure campaign in Ukraine.
Trump has publicly pointed to tensions with Pompeo, and while Pompeo's comments could go unnoticed, they were heard aloud by people close to the president.
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The first was on October 23, officials said when Trump wrote on Twitter: "It would be really great if the people in the Trump administration all mean well and good (I hope!) Could stop, Never Trumpers that are worse than the Do Nothing Democrats. Nothing good will ever come from them!
Trump followed with another tweet in which Taylor and his lawyer were called "Never Trumpers".
Two days later, Trump said Pompeo "made a mistake" in hiring Taylor.
"Here's the problem: He's a Trumper never, and his lawyer is," the president told reporters about Taylor. The other problem is – hey, everyone makes mistakes – Mike Pompeo. Everybody makes mistakes.
The following day, October 26, Pompeo was particularly absent when the President sat with his national security team during the US military attack that killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Pompeo was not informed of the raid until late Friday after being home for his friend's wedding in Kansas.
During the impeachment investigation, Pompeo and Trump have maintained their weekly lunches in the White House public schedule, according to the president.
But the president was furious when he arrived in his private dining room on October 29, two officials said. Pompeo defended himself, officials said, telling Trump he did not know who half of these Foreign Ministry officials were, officials said. He also noted that there are thousands of employees in the agency, saying that he can not control them, said those who are familiar with the matter.
An official said Trump and Pompeo repaired things during lunch. Another person familiar with the meeting said that Pompeo would continue to "iced up" by the president, a shift that often results in his still attending his sessions but listening less.
"Pompeo feels besieged," said this person. He was at the White House last Wednesday to attend Trump's meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The tension with Trump arises as Pompeo weighs to abandon the government to compete for the Senate seat of Kansas.
Pompeo served in administration from the beginning. Trump appointed him CIA director and then transferred him to the Foreign Minister after dismissing Pompeo's predecessor Rex Tillerson. For nearly three years, Pompeo seamlessly navigated to a tricky president. He remained and became more influential as Trump prevailed on two chiefs of staff, three national security advisers, an Attorney General and Minister of Defense, State, Labor, Homeland Security, Interior Affairs, Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services.
] But in recent weeks Pompeo has been in constant fire for his role in the Ukraine scandal and his dealings with it.
At the beginning, when the Ukraine controversy became public, Trump wanted Pompeo to publicly defend him against the bureaucracy of the State Department, officials said. The White House, however, said Pompeo had appeared unprepared in his television interviews, and his appearance had fueled only the disappointment of the president.
Pompeo was criticized in an interview on ABC's "This Week" for not doing so I do not know about the July 25 telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which is at the center of the controversy. Pompeo announced more than a week later that he had listened to the call.
Like the White House, he tried to keep Foreign Ministry officials out of the statement. And he refused to hand over documents of the US State Department in relation to Ukraine.
His decision last week to allow the US Department of State to pay the attorney's fees incurred by officials in the impeachment investigation could further burden his relationship with the president.
This decision underscores the balance that Pompeo wants to establish between the President and the department he directs.
US State Department officials had seen Pompeo's move to the agency in April 2018 as a welcome antidote given Pompeo's unrestricted access to Trump and her close relationship as Tillerson's bureaucratic weakness.
But morale in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dropped for months, and according to several officials, it has dropped further as the Ukraine scandal unfolded.
US State Department officials criticize Pompeo for evading pressure from the President and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his counterpart I remember Yovanovitch when she was a US Ambassador to Ukraine. Yovanovitch had been slandered by Giuliani, who convinced the president that she was working against his interests.
The criticism of Pompeo in the Foreign Ministry escalated when he refused to publicly defend Yovanovitch after a reconstructed transcript of the July 25 call Trump unmasked Zelenskiy, administration officials said. Pompeo's closest advisor, Ambassador Mike McKinley, resigned because the secretary refused to defend Yovanovitch.
According to Taylor and others, Pompeo was well aware of the concerns of his senior officials about Giuliani's efforts and his dealings with Yovanovitch.
A public testimony on Friday, Yovanovitch, seemed to annoy Pompeo that "the foreign ministry's leadership did not appear to be pushing back because foreign and corrupt interests apparently abused our Ukrainian policy."
The institution and the people who make this institution the most effective diplomatic force in the world.
According to government officials, Pompeo's refusal to publicly defend Yovanovitch consolidated a broader view within the State Department that he had allowed some of Trump's impulsive foreign policy decisions, such as the withdrawal of US special forces from Syria after a phone call the Turkish President Erdgoan.
"Pompeo is hated by his building," one person said near the secretary, adding that he "feels the heat very much and feels personally".